Group Assertions and Group Lies

Topoi 42 (2):369-384 (2023)
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Abstract

Groups, like individuals, can communicate. They can issue statements, make promises, give advice. Sometimes, in doing so, they lie and deceive. The goal of this paper is to offer a precise characterisation of what it means for a group to make an assertion and to lie. I begin by showing that Lackey’s influential account of group assertion is unable to distinguish assertions from other speech acts, explicit statements from implicatures, and lying from misleading. I propose an alternative view, according to which a group asserts a proposition only if it explicitly presents that proposition as true, thereby committing to its truth. This proposal is then put to work to define group lying. While scholars typically assume that group lying requires (i) a deceptive intent and (ii) a belief in the falsity of the asserted proposition, I offer a definition that drops condition (i) and significantly broadens condition (ii).

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Author's Profile

Neri Marsili
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

References found in this work

Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
Truth and objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Speech Acts.J. Searle - 1969 - Foundations of Language 11 (3):433-446.

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